Google has filed a lawsuit in California against three individuals believed to be based in Vietnam who are using the hype around generative AI to scam people. The scammers are setting up social media pages and running ads encouraging users to “download” its generative AI service Bard. However, the download actually delivers malware to the victims, which steals social media credentials for the scammers to use.
The lawsuit states that the scammers are not affiliated with Google in any way, even though they pretend to be. They have used Google trademarks, including Google, Google AI, and Bard, to lure unsuspecting victims into downloading malware onto their computers. The scammers specifically used promoted Facebook posts in an attempt to distribute the malware.
The lawsuit also highlights how interest in an emerging technology can be weaponized against people who may not fully understand how it operates. Just like with crypto scams, the scammers in this case imply that Bard is a paid service or app that users need to download, when it’s actually available free of charge at bard.google.com.
In an effort to combat these scammers, Google has already submitted around 300 takedown requests and is seeking to prevent them from setting up future malicious domains. Google also wants the scammers to be disabled with US domain registrars. According to Google’s general counsel Halimah DeLaine Prado, lawsuits are an effective tool for establishing a legal precedent, disrupting the tools used by scammers, and raising the consequences for bad actors.
This lawsuit shines a light on the growing issue of scammers using cutting-edge technology to deceive and defraud unsuspecting victims. As generative AI continues to gain attention and popularity, it’s important for users to remain vigilant and cautious when interacting with new technologies and products, especially when prompted to download software or provide personal information.
The increase in internet usage and the reliance on digital platforms and services have made individuals more susceptible to online scams and fraud. The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the shift towards digital technologies, providing scammers with more opportunities to exploit unsuspecting individuals.
As a result, technology companies like Google have a responsibility to take proactive measures to protect their users. In addition to filing lawsuits, companies can enhance security measures, implement fraud detection technology, and educate users about the potential threats they may encounter online.
It’s also crucial for users to stay informed about the latest cyber threats and scams and to be cautious when interacting with unfamiliar websites or services. Users should always verify the legitimacy of offers or promotions before providing any personal information or downloading software.
In conclusion, Google’s lawsuit against scammers using generative AI to distribute malware is a significant step in the ongoing battle to protect users from online scams and fraudulent activities. By taking legal action and raising awareness about these deceptive practices, technology companies can play a key role in safeguarding their users and maintaining a safe and secure online environment. However, it’s equally important for individuals to remain vigilant and take proactive measures to protect themselves from online threats.